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So much of education is about unlocking potential — nurturing students’ desires to discover and explore, giving them tools that match their unique learning styles, and challenging them to work more creatively and collaboratively.

Great schools know to balance what’s possible with what’s practical. That means protecting teachers’ time, managing the workload for the IT department, and introducing new tools when they enhance a lesson (not disrupt it).

We built Android tablets with Google Play for Education to make it practical for schools to find and share tools that help students achieve their potential.

Today we’re bringing Android with Google Play for Education to UK schools, giving more schools access to hardware and apps designed for the classroom, many of which have been customised for the UK curriculum.

Students at Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy work together using Google Play for Education

When you buy Android tablets from Google for Education you get a solution designed for learning:  

  • Your choice of affordable tablets, starting with the Nexus 7 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Education 
  • Set-up and management tools that make it easy to get your school up and running (simply bump tablets together to set up a whole classroom in minutes) 
  • Easy student access to Google Apps that encourage teamwork and critical thinking, including Docs, Drive, and Google Classroom 
  • Access to Google Play for Education, a content store designed just for schools that puts thousands of educator-approved apps like Book Creator, Pocket Code and BrainPOP at teachers’ and students’ fingertips. 
  • Google Play for Education also includes apps designed specifically for the UK market, such as a series of GCSE apps from Revision Buddies. 

UK schools who have been piloting Android tablets are seeing deeper engagement from both teachers and students as a result:

“Teachers are able to look up apps independently on Google Play for Education, tailoring the apps they share to the needs of the students,” says Luke Scott, the IT Manager at Barclay Primary School. “Students love how easy it is for them to access the application once it has uploaded to their tablet. They get excited by the fact that something has just popped up onto the screen – they are instantly engaged and want to use it.”

The Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy (IPACA) has seen the adoption of Android tablets and Google Play for Education drive a culture of sharing and collaboration.

Year 9 pupil Shannon said, "Using the Google Tablets has made learning fun, it's been great to connect with other children from around the world and compare and contrast our location with theirs."

“We can’t wait to see what UK schools do with affordable tablets and the right set of tools. In the last year, we’ve seen classes across the US do great things – whether they’re mapping trails in Vermont or getting personalized reading help in New Jersey.

To learn more and start planning a pilot for your schools, visit our webpage.

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After the relaxing holiday period comes January – a month for new beginnings and planning for the year ahead. For educators, the place to be this month is at BETT, the world’s largest education technology conference. BETT is expected to draw over 35,000 attendees, including Ministers of Education, headteachers, educators and technology specialists in the education space. BETT is the home of technology in education, where innovative technology and thinking help to make learning accessible and fun for everyone.

For the fifth year running, Google will be participating at BETT, kicking off this Wednesday at ExCel London. We look forward to speaking at the BETT arena about our vision for the future of education and what role technology should play. We also have a much-anticipated launch announcement to make for the UK.

We invite you to join us at our Google for Education stand at BETT, located at site E240. Here we will be hosting presentations from inspiring educators – such as Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) – who have recently updated their technology solution. By Going Google, the Trust has managed to resolve a number of IT issues and save an estimated £7.7m over the course of five years.
Academies Enterprise Trust has made huge savings using Chromebooks
“We did not anticipate just how easy it would be to make the switch or just how many opportunities the move to Google Apps would provide. In addition to enhancing our students’ education, we are also able to manage the devices they are using in a much easier way.” - Chris Meaney, Director of ICT at Academies Enterprise Trust.

The Google for Education stand will showcase the full range of devices for all visitors to experience first hand. There will be product demonstrations, along with talks at our on-site teaching theatre, (schedule here) where educators will share their experiences of using Google tools for teaching and learning.

For those not at BETT, school leaders can learn more about Chromebooks for Education by visiting our website.

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Teachers and students in Toronto are embracing technologies that make it easy to learn anytime and anywhere. Delighted by their creativity and innovative drive, we’re highlighting two schools that are leading the way in on-the-go learning with technology, including the Google Classroom app. The new app allows students and teachers to work on the go with new mobile-only features that enhance the experience.

More learning in and out of the classroom 

Teachers at York Region District School Board (YRDSB) noticed that students often missed assignments due to disorganization, and spent valuable class time rummaging through their desks to find the papers they needed. Since the district introduced Google Classroom in 2014, students spend more time learning and less time digging through documents.

YRDSB also began piloting the Google Classroom mobile apps and found that mobile technology breaks down the barriers between life inside and outside the classroom. Teachers create assignments in Classroom, and students turn in their papers and receive feedback within minutes. Students don’t have to worry about printing assignments or keeping track of old papers.

Technology allows teachers to be creative with their lesson plans. Julia Waiser, an eighth grade and special needs teacher at Forest Run Public School, takes students on field trips around campus to take photos and videos using their phones and tablets, then discuss how math concepts apply to real world situations.
Making learning more interactive and student-driven

With digital education as a top priority, Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) knew it was time to replace the existing course management system with a newer, more integrated solution. They were already using Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education, so Google Classroom seemed like a natural choice.

The schools saw a rapid uptake in adoption after the pilot started in August 2014 with four teachers. Today, more than 1,200 teachers — half of the district — use Classroom. One of the reasons UGDSB chose Classroom is because it works so well with the suite of Google tools the schools have already embraced. “The Classroom app is the starting point,” says Paul Nethery, a grade 7-8 teacher at Erin Public School. “From there, we use Drive for sharing, Docs for writing, and Chrome for researching. It’s streamlined.”

Since students can access learning resources regardless of their location, they take more ownership of their learning and are empowered to engage and act as teachers themselves. “We’re all learning together, and it’s the teacher’s job to act as a catalyst rather than the sole source of knowledge,” says Bill MacKenzie, IT liaison at UGDSB. “Students have the opportunity to teach their peers and their teachers.”

As schools across North America continue introducing digital learning, more students have the resources to learn from teachers and peers via their smartphones and tablets. We’re excited to see how these schools will continue to innovate and enable students to learn wherever they are.

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(Cross-posted on the Google for Work Blog)

While it’s a new year on the calendar, many teachers and students are just midway through the school year. They’ve clearly been hard at work, turning in more than 30 million assignments with Classroom since it launched six months ago. If those assignments had been on paper instead of Google Docs, they would stretch from New York to Los Angeles when laid end to end. If every assignment had taken just one minute to print out, Classroom saved 57 years that would have otherwise been spent waiting for the printer.

Today we’re launching a native Classroom mobile app for both Android and iOS (also available in Google Play for Education) to help teachers and students connect from wherever they are, and save even more paper and time. We’re also launching two new features to help teachers stay organized as they head into the second half of the year: a teacher assignments page and the ability to archive classes.

With the mobile app, students and teachers can:
  • Snap a photo: Right from the assignment page in the mobile app, students can snap a photo and attach it to their assignment — whether it’s the experiment they just did for a science class, or a drawing they made of their family tree. And if they’ve forgotten their homework, they can ask someone at home to snap a photo, text it and then turn it in with the app. Of course, if the dog has actually eaten it, Classroom can’t help you. 

  • Share from other apps: Students can also easily attach images, PDFs and web pages from other apps to their assignments. For example, when you’re in a drawing app, you can create a graphic for an assignment. When you click “share” in that app, Classroom will come up as an option, and you can attach the graphic to an assignment. 

  • Offline caching: Even when Internet access isn’t available, students and teachers can get information about their assignments in the Classroom mobile app. Class streams and assignment information are automatically cached every time you open the app with an Internet connection, so that you can see them when you don’t have a connection. 

For the best experience using the Classroom app, make sure you (or your students) also have the Google Docs, Drive and Slides apps. We’re looking forward to adding new features to the app on both iOS and Android in the coming months, so that students and teachers can get more done from any device they have.

Teacher Assignments Page

We’ve heard from many teachers that they want one place to keep track of all the work they assign across all of their classes. On Classroom for desktop, we’re launching a teacher assignments page. Teachers will have quick access to any assignment, track which ones they’ve reviewed and see how many students have completed their assignments.
Archive Classes

We also know that classes don’t go on forever. You don’t want to have to scroll through old classes to get to the ones you’re teaching or attending now, but you’ll likely want access to the valuable information in previous classes and work from them. That’s why today we’re launching the ability to archive classes. Archiving a class will remove it from the home page and make it read-only — teachers and class members can still view archived classes, but can’t make any changes or turn in assignments.  photo FINAL-ARCHIVE_zpsilqhvosx.gif We hope the new mobile apps and features for teachers will save you some time and paper this semester. Please keep sharing your feedback with us, and stay tuned for more new Classroom goodies before the school year is over.


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Whether you’re an IT administrator at a school with connectivity issues, or a teacher helping your school get online for the first time, you know that activating technology involves careful planning and decision making. What tools do your students and teachers need the most? How do you get the Internet access you need to support your academic programs when your school isn’t already connected and online? How will you train everyone to make the most of this new technology?

We’ve learned from schools who’ve gone through the process and compiled a guide to bringing learning online based on their ideas. Their experiences can help your school decide how technology will bring resources from all over the web – and around the globe – into your classrooms. You’ll see a framework for:
  • Defining your goals 
  • Investing in Internet access 
  • Building your team 
  • Offering web tools 
  • Managing the change 
The guide is available in 10 languages and includes stories from schools around the world that have embraced online learning. For example, Nigeria’s Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) has seen its student body jump from 6,000 to 30,000 in the past few years, prompting investment in its Internet infrastructure and improving access to web-based technologies.

“Through using Google Apps for Education to enable quick responses to queries over Gmail and access to course information via Sites, we’ve started to break down communication barriers between lecturers and students,” says Adebanjo-Paul Adebowale, Network Administrator, LAUTECH. “Now we see more communication and collaboration of all kinds across the campus, which is having a positive impact on the culture and the smooth running of the institution.”

In Morocco, the Université Cadi Ayyad now supports its online learning curriculum using Google Sites and Google Apps scripts. Students can easily access course material, request transcripts, receive their grades, and log onto the university’s eLearning platform.

Schools like LAUTECH and the Université Cadi Ayyad inspire us, and we’re looking forward to hearing more transformation stories. Join us. Share your school’s technology challenges and the steps you’ve taken to activate technology on your campus.